Garden Epiphanies

– Posted in: Design, Garden chores, How-to, Meditations

Gardening experience, for the most part, is accrued bit by bit, as decisions are made to do this chore before the other, plants die and we know why--or we don't--and mental notes are made about what is blooming when. But every so often, the gardener has an epiphany, a light bulb moment. These milestones represent [...]

Canada thistle, the plague of my peonies

– Posted in: Pests, Plagues, and Varmints

Canada thistle weaves throughout the peony bedObservant readers may have noticed the prickly-leaved weed sidling up to 'Rozella' in my last post. That dastardly villain is Canada thistle, aka Cirsium arvense, and it is one nasty customer. According to the University of California Cooperative Extension, Once established, Canada thistle spreads rapidly by horizontal roots, up [...]

Wicked Beauty

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints, Plant info, What's up/blooming

Isn't this a stunning specimen of Polygonum cuspidatum? The generous rainfall we've had this season has brought it into top form. Too bad it's on America's Most Wanted list. Yes, this is Japanese knotweed, aka Japanese bamboo, Mexican bamboo, fleeceflower, and Fallopia japonica. (I've been told that it's also known as privy weed, but I [...]

When is a Weed not a Weed?

– Posted in: Garden chores

Last Saturday and this one I weeded the patio bed, each time just enough to get one of my potted plants into the ground. Last week it was Molinia caerulea 'Variegata,' and today it was Polemonium caeruleum 'Brise d'Anjou.' Both of these have yellow variegation in the foliage which I intend to complement the flowers [...]

“What’s that Plant?”

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Plant info
germander speedwell plant with tiny blue flowers

Every visitor to my garden this spring has asked me, "What's that plant?" and I always have to answer, "It's, um, a weed. A speedwell, I think." And the reply is always, "Well, it sure is pretty." It sure is. That's why I haven't pulled it. Honest. Actually, it's done blooming now, but for my [...]